JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell said the state intends to show its support of a federal decision allowing Shell to proceed with offshore oil exploration.
The governor said the state will intervene in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups challenging the decision by the Minerals Management Service.
Shell plans on drilling three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea next year off Alaska's northwest coastline.
Environmental groups bitterly oppose drilling. They say there has not been enough work to assess environmental risks in a sensitive marine ecosystem already stressed by climate change.